Come on, the spring is in full swing! Nature is coming back to life whereas we can watch its revival from our… isolation cells. Or we can find out who was the best wildlife painter in the history of art. We have time.
Animals in high art
Nature was the subject of artistic interest since Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer. Their wildlife art prints and sketches were the display of their skills in tracing the detail of the body and movement. Then let’s take into account Rubens with his Daniel in the Lions Den, or Garden of Eden where it’s crawling with different species. Next example, Eugene Delacroix has been fascinated by the dynamism of animals.
Impossible not to mention ukiyo-e printmakers, like Ohara Koson, who took interest in wildlife to a whole new level. Japanese art prints influenced tremendously the 19th-century modernist art movement. Since then everything has changed. Also wildlife art.
Liljefors wildlife art
Swedish painter Bruno Liljefors put nature in the heart of his art. His birds, cats, foxes and insects are captured not only with great detail but in their natural habitat.
Animals just do their thing in his paintings. They are not people’s pets or subjects of study or mythological and biblical references. They are not part of our story but independent beings driven by instincts, will of survival and urges.
Some noted that Liljefors put too much drama in his paintings, especially in those depicting predator-prey action. But in nature, the interaction between a predator and prey is the part of life. It happens all the time.
What Liljefors did was not dramatisation but… aestheticisation. The violence between his animals is just beautiful. Needless to say, all great artists did aestheticised violence. It is deeply rooted in our culture.
His springtime paintings are just bursting with colours. Flowers, plants, grass and soil create such an abundant background for wildlife in his works.
Animal art prints
Remember, he was a child of his time. That’s why his meadows are so impressionistic, his natural patterns so Art Nouveau and his choice of colours so ukiyo-e.
What a beautiful animal art prints they are (cat prints above all:)! At the moment I have full menagerie on my walls and they look stunning. It seems I invited spring into my home.